If you were to do a survey about what parents want for their children these two answers probably are at the top of the list, “I want my children to be happy and I want them to be successful.” Part of the ingredient to being happy and being successful is having confidence. So how can you help your children have more confidence?
Confidence, as defined in the Thorndike Barnhart dictionary, means:
1. firm belief; trust.
2. firm belief in oneself and one’s abilities.
Self-confidence means that a person believes in oneself. Self-confidence increases every time you succeed.
But how do you know you will succeed at something that you haven’t yet tried? What if you cannot do it? Does that mean all your self-confidence is gone? Are you setting your children up to fail by telling them all the time that they are smart and great without teaching them strategies on how to fail correctly?
As parents, teachers, grandparents and other influencers, we talk to children before they start something new and ask them what they expect. Are they willing to put in the effort, knowing they may not be great at it initially? Do they understand that this is okay? As they keep at it and improve, they may eventually be great at it. This is how we can teach them how to fail ‘correctly’.
Talk to your children about following through. If they start something, make sure they follow through to the end. A child who starts karate and quits after two weeks because it is “too hard” hasn’t given this skill a fair chance. Why not find a coach or teacher who will break down the needed skills to be learned into small goals.
My sister’s friend told me a story about how her son wanted to play on the hockey team. She had concerns as he was a poor skater and had never played hockey. It amazed her when with practice and determination he went on to be a valuable player on his team. First of all he had the desire to follow his coach’s instructions. Second he put in the effort and regardless of obstacles he succeeded. His confidence increased as his efforts paid off. But it was his desire to try that was key!
So make sure that if your child wants to do something new, that he or she is the one that really wants it. Have a candid conversation about the amount of effort and practice it might entail. Be crystal clear. Then teach them to realize every time they fail they will learn how to alter their approach and improve the next time. They will feel like trying more new things knowing each time they improve they are getting closer to their goals.
One of the best books I’ve come across to help guide children when trying new things is The Talent Code Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle. (1)
Empower children so that they believe they can do, be and have anything they desire.
(1.) The Talent Code Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. By Daniel Coyle, copyright 2009, published by Bantam Dell, A Division of Random House, Inc. New York, New York., ISBN 978-0-553-80684-7 (hardcover), ISBN 978-0-553-90649-3 (eBook)
Kathleen Boucher, CEO of Great Kids and Me, http://www.greatkids.me, Every parent wants their children to succeed. You are doing a service for your children if you help them see that each set back and mistake is an opportunity to improve. Click on the link above to find eBooks that your children may use to journal their ideas and thoughts as they move closer to their goals. Pat yourself on the back. You are an amazing parent!
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